In the best of times, beginning content marketing writers struggle to find quality clients. They hang out on job boards, hoping to find someone paying more than $50 a blog post. They spend time honing their UpWork profile. Or, they peruse Craigslist ads. Does this sound familiar? If you need to know where to find quality content marketing clients, keep reading.
I already shared five places to find content marketing clients in a previous post. Well, this one has five more. And this list is even more amazing.
What Is A Quality Content Marketing Client?
A quality content marketing client is one who knows the value of content marketing. They don’t need to be convinced to start a blog or to post on social media regularly. They have the budget to pay for that content, and won’t look at the writer as a commodity, shopping around for the best bang for their buck. A quality client will look for the value the work brings to their company and the best person to deliver that value.
If your current clients don’t fit this description, use the following checklist going forward. Finding companies that fit these criteria will help you to stay afloat during these uncertain times.
- Company size–The larger the company, the more likely they see the value in content marketing and can afford to pay professional rates. Target companies that have more than 50 employees.
- Gross revenue–A company that generates at least $10 million in revenue each year probably has the budget to pay a freelance content marketing writer.
- Experience working with freelancers–A good client has experience working with freelancers and understands the boundaries of the relationship. To find out if they work with freelancers, click on the People tab of the company’s LinkedIn page. Look for freelancers that list the company in their experience section.
Before you begin your search, create a spreadsheet to collect your leads on. Include columns for company name, website url, contact name, and email address. You may also want columns to record any communication attempts you make with the person.
Where to Find Quality Content Marketing Clients
If you’re not reading the trade publications for your target industry, start now. You can find a pretty hefty list of trade pubs on WebWire. If you don’t see any on there, ask folks in the industry what they read. I found several magazines in the flooring industry simply by asking someone I was interviewing for a story.
Once in the trade pub, connect with the staff on LinkedIn. Then, start looking for their connections. Also, target the magazine’s advertisers and the companies mentioned in the articles.
Check back issues and the website of the publication. Look for a yearly “40 Under 40” or other similar award or recognition piece. The names on those lists are great leads.
Speaking of lists, look at the Inc. 5000. It’s a database of the top 5000 fastest-growing companies in the United States. Look for member lists for trade organizations like the National Association of Home Builders.
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of prospects and is my greatest marketing tool. Look for groups in your niche industry and look at the list of members. Search for hashtags to find companies that follow them. For instance, #insuranceindustry has over 733,000 followers. When you search for that hashtag, posts that used it come up as a feed. You can then see the companies, or their representatives, that use the hashtag. Add them to your list.
Don’t just add the companies to your list, follow them on LinkedIn. Once you click the Follow button on a company’s page, LinkedIn will populate a list of the company’s competitors as suggestions for you to follow. Add those companies to your list.
Nothing’s wrong with using Google, or another search engine, to find customer leads. Here are a few search terms I’ve used successfully:
- competitors of [company name]
- top [type of company] in [this area]
- lists of top [type of company]
Ah! This one is tricky, yes. I’m not advocating that you look for jobs for yourself on the job boards. What you’re looking for here are jobs for:
- digital content manager
- director of content
- marketing manager
- online communications manager
in your industry. So, let’s say you write for the insurance industry and you find a job opening on Indeed for a digital content manager for Allstate Insurance. Of course Allstate is on your list of prospects but your past attempts to break in have been unsuccessful. Now you know that within the next 30 days, though, they’ll have someone new in the office making content decisions. So, you set a reminder to check LinkedIn for the name of the new digital content manager and then reach out to him or her.
My best clients have come because I’ve reached out at “just the right time” after a new hire has taken command.
If you read the first post with five places to find content marketing clients, you now have 10 places to look. Know of any more? Please tell us about them in the comments.